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International Issues Update 2023/16

By April 21, 2023July 31st, 2023No Comments


  • Consulting agencies regarding next steps in China Section 301 tariff four-year review
  • Briefing on U.S.-China trade and investment restrictions
  • Assisting clients with comments Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) implementation

These are just examples of client service. How can we help you? Email any IBC counsellor for assistance or consult our issues list to find the expert you’re looking for.


In case you missed it:

  • April 20: Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Investment Security Brian Reissaus, Outlook for CFIUS policy and outbound investment review

Upcoming WIBC events:

  • April 25: Ambassador of India Taranjit Singh Sandhu, U.S.-India relations and India’s G20 presidency 
  • April 26: State Department Senior Official for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Matt Murray, U.S. APEC host-year progress and priorities

REMINDER: Our client portal, WIBC calendar, and other resources are available at

WIBC discussions are open to WIBC members only. Not a member? Contact Alix for membership inquiries.



In April 20 remarks at Johns Hopkins University addressing the U.S.-China economic relationship, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen focused on the need to safeguard U.S. security while pursuing “healthy economic competition.” While arguing the United States does not aim to slow China’s economic growth, Secretary Yellen emphasized the United States “will not compromise” on export controls, sanctions, and import restrictions “motivated solely by our concerns about our security and values.” China reportedly continues to rebuff the administration’s efforts to reschedule Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit or to set a date for Secretary Yellen to meet her counterpart in Beijing.

This week, the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee debated legislation (House bill; Senate bill) that would revoke permanent trade relations (PNTR) for China.  During a separate House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Republicans argued that expanding clean energy tax credits under the IRA is a giveaway to big corporations and to China.

On April 18, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China heard testimony from academics, human rights advocates, and Department of Homeland Security representatives who emphasized the risk of importers using third countries to hide the origin of Xinjiang sourced items. Witnesses also emphasized the need to maintain public access to import records, describing these as a key tool to ensure robust enforcement. There were no private sector witnesses. 

Since UFLPA enforcement began, DHS has detained $89 million of China-origin goods, $490 million of Malaysian goods, and $369 million of Vietnamese goods. Witnesses also emphasized the need to maintain public access to import records, describing these as a key tool to ensure robust enforcement. 

Contact: Pat Sheehy, Chris Benscher, Ethan Knecht

Latin America

Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Marisa Lago, State Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose Fernandez, and Deputy USTR Jayme White led the U.S. delegation to the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) Mid-Year Review, in preparation for the fall 2023 cabinet-level HLED. 

Priorities for the cabinet-level meeting are expected to include supply chain coordination in the semiconductor and ICT ecosystem, increased digitization of cross-border procedures, 5G development and ICT connectivity coordination, and enhanced workforce development. Stakeholders are invited to offer input on HLED priorities via Commerce or Mexico’s HLED portals. 

The mid-year review touched on Mexico’s investment “Single Window,” cybersecurity capacity and coordination, supply chain crisis management, environmental technologies, simplifying and enhancing cross-border trade, and trade facilitation for medical devices, among other topics. Sustainable economic development in Southern Mexico and Central America, communications technology  regulatory compatibility and risk mitigation, and workforce development were also on the agenda. 

Colombian President Gustavo Petro visited Washington April 20. According to a joint statement, the two presidents discussed climate change and the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity, with the statement specifically highlighting a new working group to “advance electrical interconnection in the Americas to help reduce the cost of energy.” In advance of President Petro’s international summit on Venezuela’s political crisis next week, President Biden reiterated that he would only be willing to lift sanctions if the Maduro administration takes steps to democratize the country. 

Following through on commitments President Biden made during Brazilian President Lula da Silva’s February visit to Washington, the White House announced that it would seek to contribute $500 million (pending congressional approval) to the Amazon Fund to combat regional deforestation. 

Contact: Ethan Knecht, Steve Ziehm

Quick takes

  • The European Parliament on April 19 approved a landmark deforestation law requiring coffee, beef, soy, palm oil, and wood imports to provide verifiable information they do not contribute to deforestation. The law will likely enter into force in June, with large companies required to comply from the end of 2024.
  • In a discussion round for the U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership, the United States and Kenya exchanged views on agriculture, anti-corruption, SMEs, and services domestic regulation.  Negotiators plan an “ambitious negotiating schedule” in the coming months.
  • Chile’s President Gabriel Boric announced plans to nationalize the country’s lithium industry. Under the plan, foreign investors mining lithium,a critical raw material for the EV supply chain, would need to partner with the state.
  • In its largest-ever administrative penalty, Commerce on April 19 fined Seagate Technology $300 million for shipping hard drives to Huawei Technologies. This followed Commerce’s separate April 18 announcement of harsher penalties for companies who fail to notify the government after discovering “significant” export controls violations. 
  • Japan and South Korea held on April 17 their first security talks in five years, discussing potential cooperation between the two countries, plus the United States, including in the Indo-Pacific region.


Federal Register Notices

Newly Introduced Legislation


  • H.R.2789 (Stanton, D-AZ) Would direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to strengthen subnational cooperation between the United States and Mexico
  • H.R.2766 (Kim, R-CA) Would support the human rights of Uyghurs and members of other minority groups residing primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
  • H.R.2756 (Gallagher, R-WI) Would direct the Secretary of Defense to expand U.S.-Taiwan cybersecurity cooperation 
  • H.R.2721 (Ogles, R-TN) Would remove some exclusions from the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act 
  • H.R.2709 (Donalds, R-FL) Would direct the U.S. Comptroller General to deliver a report on the economic effects of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan


  • S.1252 (Rubio, R-FL) Would support the human rights of Uyghurs and members of other minority groups residing primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
  • S.1242 (Cotton, R-AR) Would exclude critical minerals that were extracted or processed in certain countries that are providing insufficient levels of assistance to Ukraine from being included for purposes of determining the amount of the clean vehicle tax credit
  • S.1241 (Rosen, D-NV) Would enhance and expand cooperation between the Department of Defense and the Government of Taiwan

Upcoming Congressional hearings





  • Mr. Chris Slevin,  Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Commerce
  • Ms. Diana Pilipenko, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Legislative Affairs
  • Mr. Ilan Goldenberg, Senior Advisor to the Vice President for the Middle East, Defense and Technology
  • Mr. Jamie Wise, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce
  • Ms. Radha Plumb, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment
  • Dr. Robin Brooks, Special Advisor to the Vice President for Europe, Russia, Multilateral Affairs, and Democracy

Want more scoops on personnel moves? Find the most recent Who’s Who here.


Looking farther ahead? Find the most recent full international events calendar here.